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New Affirmative Action Federal Contractor Regulations: An Opportunity for All Engineering Organizations to Broaden the Participation of People with Disabilities

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Conference

2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Disability Track - Technical Session IV

Tagged Topic

Disability

Page Count

8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29555

Download Count

54

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Paper Authors

biography

Canek Moises Luna Phillips Rice University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6571-2733

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Canek Phillips (P’urepecha) is a postdoctoral research associate at Rice University in the Brown School of Engineering. Canek’s research interests broadly relate to efforts to broaden participation in engineering. Currently, he is working on a project to improve mathematics education for visually impaired students.

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biography

Yvette E. Pearson P.E. Rice University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8781-7085

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Dr. Yvette E. Pearson holds a B.S. in civil engineering and M.S. in chemistry from Southern University and A&M College and a Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science from the University of New Orleans. She is Associate Dean for Accreditation and Assessment in the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, a Program Evaluator for the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, a registered Professional Engineer in Louisiana, a former Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation, and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Abstract

The business case for diversity and inclusion has been made across many fronts. Company leaders have realized that performance, customer satisfaction, and the overall bottom line are improved when the workplace is inclusive of individuals with diverse perspectives and experiences. The vast majority of diversity and inclusion efforts have focused on gender, race, and ethnicity. By comparison, relatively little emphasis has been placed on people with disabilities, especially in engineering.

Roughly 13% of people in the United States have disabilities; this fraction is steadily increasing. It is imperative that perspectives of engineers with all types of disabilities - visual, auditory, ambulatory, cognitive, and others - be included in design and problem solving processes to meet societal needs. This can only happen when academic and workplace environments are accessible to and inclusive of all.

The relevancy of this topic extends to Federal contractors as well. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has made regulatory changes that require contractors to significantly revise affirmative action strategies to ensure equal employment opportunities for veterans and individuals with disabilities. In this paper, we provide an overview of the new regulations and ways they differ from the earlier versions. Furthermore, we look at ways it can be used to broaden the participation of people with disabilities in engineering organizations to improve upon this overlooked dimension of diversity.

Phillips, C. M. L., & Pearson, Y. E. (2018, April), New Affirmative Action Federal Contractor Regulations: An Opportunity for All Engineering Organizations to Broaden the Participation of People with Disabilities Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29555

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